From: Bassman1@ix.netcom.com (John Gowrie)
Subject: Some good arpeggio work(an exercise I use)
Date: 1 Apr 1995 08:43:14 GMT

I was recently going through some of my notes from lessons that I took several years ago and stumbled on an exercise that I had forgotten about. This is really useful for learning arpeggios inside/out and learning how to link them together without having to start from the root note. This exercise should be performed as a walking bass line.

Take the first arpeggio and start it on the root note. Continue by playing each consecutive note until you come to the next arpeggio. Once you reach the next arpeggio, go to the closest available note in the new arpeggio.

ex. (play all notes as quarter notes. start at a slow tempo)

arpeggios      -->  Em7 (E minor 7th chord)  A7 (A dominant 7th chord) 
beats (4/4)    -->  1 and     2 and     3 and     4 and     1 and     2 and     3 and     4 and 
notes played   -->  {E}       G         B         D         E         G   {A}  C# 

Note that when you come to the A7 chord you start on the 5th tone of the arpeggio, E. This was the note, within the A7 arpeggio, which was closest to the last note played in the Em7 arpeggio.(although the C# is actually closer, we are travelling up the neck so continue with notes in an ascending order until you reach the top of the neck)

You would continue playing like this until you reach the highest point on the neck with an available note. Once you reach the top of the neck, start working you way back down.

For a real challenge, start on the 3rd, 5th and the 7th of the first arpeggio. Each time you go through the exercise you will be faced with different inversions of each chord (this makes for very good ear training) and you will really be forcing yourself to think of the arpeggio your playing plus the next one coming up. This is a great exercise for starters as well as experienced players. I thought I knew most of my arpeggios until I started working on this exercise after not using it for 2 years!

The purpose of playing arpeggios like this is to get you "thinking" about all the notes contained within the arpeggio. This is difficult if you are a "pattern" oriented player. You can't just slide up to the root note and fall into that comfortable pattern any longer. In just a week or two of running through this exercise you'll notice a difference in how well you are retaining the information practiced. It is a fun exercise also! Almost any tune that you can play a walking line to can be applied here.

I use a tune given to me by my instructor called, "Tune Up". "Giant Steps" could be very interesting also since it is almost entirely made of 2 chords per bar (you would have to shift you brain into double time)

Here is "Tune Up" to get you started if you don't have any written music to follow: ( I included the notes for the first 2 measures)


| Em7          |A7            |Dmaj7         |  % (REPEAT LAST BAR)
E  G  B  D     E  G  A  C#    D  F#  A  C#   D  F#  D  C#
| Dm7          |G7            |Cmaj7         |  %
C  A  F  D     B  G  F  D     C  B   G  E    G   B   C   E
| Cm7          |F7            |Bbmaj7        |Ebmaj7
G .....(continue up until you reach the top and turn back around)
| Em7          |A7            |Bbmaj7        |Em7 A7   |(END) 

NOTE: I WAS USING A 4 STRING FOR THIS EXERCISE. 5 AND 6 STRINGS WILL HAVE A MUCH WIDER RANGE OF NOTES AVAILABLE.


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